On Wednesday 22nd November, at the annual An Post Book Awards, we were named Bookshop of the Year! We are so happy and so proud of this achievement, especially considering how brilliant the other five bookshops on the shortlist are. Congratulations to Bridge Books, Bridge Street Books, Liber, Maynooth Bookshop and O’Mahony’s.
Here are some pictures from the night (taken by Ger Holland, for writing.ie)
We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to have been named Best Independent Bookshop in Ireland, 2022, as well as being shortlisted for Children’s Bookseller of the Year!
We are so proud of this achievement! There are so many wonderful indie bookshops in Ireland, especially our fellow nominee, Little Acorn Books in Derry, and it is a real honour to receive this accolade, especially as a dedicated Children’s Bookshop.We have a wonderful team of dedicated children’s booksellers – Trish, Amanda, Meriel, Kathleen and our Events Manager, author Sarah Webb. We work hard to get the best books into children’s hands and we are lucky there are so many wonderful children’s books out there!
All five of us at Halfway up the Stairs cast our votes for our favourite books published in 2022. There were two books that were unanimously chosen as our Top Books of the Year and we chose a selection of our top 20 books across all categories that we loved! You can follow the links below to find out more about the books.
Picture Book and Novel of the Year
Be Wild Little One by Olivia Hope, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus – Picture Book of the Year
You can download this picture of hope and friendship (designed by Alan Nolan) to show support for the children of Ukraine and children from all over the world who have been affected by war or had to leave their countries. (Or email us at email@example.com and we will send it to you). You can decorate it with your own pictures and messages. Drop it back to us or email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will display them in the window and online.
Yet again we have a top 30 to be proud of! We are so happy to have such a strong representation of Irish authors – 19 out of our top 30 books are written by Irish authors/ illustrators, and 7 of our top 10! This is testament to the amazing quality of talent in our shores.
Our topselling category is Picture Books, followed closely by 5-8 (with 4 of the titles being graphic novels!) , 9-12 and Board Books. Next year we’d love to get more Teen and Young Adult books in our topsellers. Some authors make it more than once in our top 30; Julian Gough & Jim Fields are there with three of the Rabbit and Bear books, and Chris Haughton also has three titles! 17 of the books featured were published in 2021.
It is great to see how many books that were featured in our Children’s Books Salon make the top 30, including The Last Bear, Maybe, Rabbit & Bear and The Vanishing Lake.
1. A Hug for Youby David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard, tells the story of the virtual hug created by David’s son Adam who stole the heart of the nation on The Late Late Toy Show in 2020. It is a beautifully illustrated reflection of the past two years and the importance of sharing the love. We had a wonderful visit from the King family in November – a fantastic day to remember! This book was also the worthy winner of the Junior Children’s An Post Book of the Year and was also one of the finalists for overall An Post Book of the Year. (Irish, Irish Published, 2021, Picture Book)
2. The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street by Sarah Webb – a wonderful historical novel set in the Dublin tenements in 1911, this is a book about friendship, resilience and circus life with a hint of magic! We have been very lucky to have Sarah work in the shop since August and we held a signing event and an online launch in October (Irish, Irish Published, 2021, 9-12). Sarah’s nursery rhyme board book, Sally Go Round the Stars also makes the list at number 17.
3. Boot by Shane Hegarty: All three books from the Boot series sell incredibly well for us, but as the first in the series, Boot – Small Robot, Big Adventure is a firm favourite of ours to recommend for strong readers aged 7+. Shane visited the shop with his family during the summer and signed lots of copies of all three books. (Irish, 2019, 5-8, #6 last year)
4. Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits by Julian Gough & Jim Field (Irish, 2016, 5-8, #12 last year). The first in the series, the Rabbit & Bear books are so popular with children and their parents! Julian & Jim joined us in the Children’s Book Salon in September. Two more form the series make the list at numbers 22 & 29
5. Up on the Mountain by Peter Donnelly (Irish, Irish Published, 2021, Picture Book). Peter is a great friend of the shop’s, and took part in our Meet the Author event with Sarah Webb in August. He also created two wonderful windows for us – one to celebrate the launch of Up on the Mountain and a beautiful winter’s scene for our Christmas window! The Dead Zoo is also on the list at number 16.
6. Dog Man: Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey (2021, Graphic Novel, 5-8) Dog Man is such a popular series for us, and the first in series makes the list at number 29. Graphic Novels are really gaining in popularity and we also have two Bunny vs Monkey books in the Top 30.
7. There’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers (Irish, 2021, Picture Book). A wonderfully innovative book which make a perfect gift at both Hallowe’en and Christmas. Oliver took part in the WonderFest festival in November, which we were the partner bookshop for. Here We Are also makes the list at number 12.